Housing co-op hopes to shake up Waterloo Region

WATERLOO REGION — A new housing co-operative is looking for investors to help shake up the way rental housing is done in this region.

Union: Sustainable Development Co-operative has 10 startup members and needs 50 or 60 more to help purchase a mixed-use residential and commercial building in Kitchener or Waterloo. They plan to partner with Reception House Waterloo Region to provide rental housing for new government-assisted refugees in this first building.

"We have a lot of wealth in this community and if we can redirect even a small percentage of that toward creating real social change as our community is going through this really exciting period of growth, let's make sure that growth helps everyone," said Sean Campbell, one of the founding members of the co-op and its executive director.

Membership shares cost $500 and members can invest $1,000 to $10,000 per property. Campbell said he expects a rate of return of three or four per cent rate on that investment. The co-op would own the building and Reception House would act as the landlord.

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